Confessions (Hardcover)

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Rousseau's ideas have influenced almost every major political development of the last two hundred years, and are crucial to an understanding of phenomena as diverse as the French Revolution, modern educational theory, and the contemporary environmental movement. This is reason enough to draw attention to his startlingly alive autobiography. But the Confessions is also among the greatest self-portraits in world literature -which suggests, even more than the impact of Rousseau's thought, the extent to which the very high opinion he had of himself was ultimately justified.

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About the Author

Jean-Jacques Rousseau (1712 - 1778) was a Genevan philosopher, writer, and composer of the 18th century. His political philosophy influenced the French Revolution as well as the overall development of modern political, sociological, and educational thought. Rousseau's novel Emile, or On Education is a treatise on the education of the whole person for citizenship. His sentimental novel Julie, or the New Heloise was of importance to the development of pre-romanticism and romanticism in fiction. Rousseau's autobiographical writings - his Confessions, which initiated the modern autobiography, and his Reveries of a Solitary Walker - exemplified the late 18th-century movement known as the Age of Sensibility, and featured an increased focus on subjectivity and introspection that later characterized modern writing. His Discourse on the Origin of Inequality and his On the Social Contract are cornerstones in modern political and social thought. He argued that private property was conventional and the beginning of true civil society. Rousseau was a successful composer of music, who wrote seven operas as well as music in other forms, and made contributions to music as a theorist. As a composer, his music was a blend of the late Baroque style and the emergent Classical fashion, and he belongs to the same generation of transitional composers as Christoph Willibald Gluck and C.P.E. Bach. One of his more well-known works is the one-act opera Le devin du village, containing the duet "Non, Colette n'est point trompeuse" which was later rearranged as a standalone song by Beethoven. During the period of the French Revolution, Rousseau was the most popular of the philosophes among members of the Jacobin Club. Rousseau was interred as a national hero in the Pantheon in Paris, in 1794, 16 years after his death..

P. N. FURBANK is Professor Emeritus at the Open University.

P. N. FURBANK is Professor Emeritus at the Open University.
Product Details
ISBN: 9780679409984
ISBN-10: 067940998X
Publisher: Everyman's Library
Publication Date: June 2nd, 1992
Pages: 320
Language: English